Summary on the Social Construction of Gender reading.

Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
Daga Sandra

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The Social Construction of Gender t Main Points
- Gender inequality t ZÀoµ]}v}(ZÁ}uv[vZ}]o}u]v]}v}(Zuv[Z
functions and a social history
- Not the result of sex, physiology, hormones or genetic predispositions
- It is produced/maintained by identifiable social processes and built into the general social
structure and individual identities deliberately
- Social order in Western societies organized around race, class, gender inequality
- The continuing purpose of gender as a modern social institution is to construct women as a
group to be the subordinates of men as a group
- ^^Z]ZZvµZÇu[(µv]}v]vP_
- For humans, the social is the natural
- Gender cannot mean simply the cultural appropriation of biological sexual difference
- Sexual difference is a fundamental construction
The Social Construction of Gender t Detailed Notes
- ÀÇ}vZ}Pv[Á]Z}µZ]vl]vP}µ]
- Gender signs and signals so ubiquitous that we usually fail to notice them unless they are
missing t we feel uncomfortable until we have successfully placed the other person in a gender
status; otherwise, feel socially dislocated
- In addition to men and women, a person can be transvestite (dresses in opposite gender
clothes), transsexual (person who has had a sex-change)
- Gender construction starts with assignment to a sex category in the basis of what the genitalia look like at
- A sex category becomes a gender status through naming, dress
- Sexual feelings and desires have been shaped by gendered norms and expectations
- As a social institution, gender is one of the major ways human beings organize their lives
- One way of choosing people for the different tasks of society is on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity t
ascribed membership in a category of people
- Every society uses gender and age grades
- dZ}}(Pv]vPv]}µ}u]oP]]uÇo]P]}vUoÁUY}]Ç[v]}(
- tv}]Ç[ÀoµoP]]uPv]vPÇo]u]vP]}u(}uZÇ]}o}PÇ
- But gender and sex are not equivalent
- Gender as a social construction does not flow automatically from genitalia and reproductive
organs > they are crude markers
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